Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snippets from Ireland.

Irish newspapers are very well written, providing pleasure as well as information. For example, a line from today's The Irish Times tells us that "England is the only country in the world that would welcome news of the longest life expectancy in human history with the headline 'Pensions Timebomb'." I'll share with you some of the stories that have caught my eye today.

The biggest story concerns a proposal by Taoiseach, Brian Cowan and his struggling Fianna Fail Government to introduce a 1.3 billion euro cut in the salary bill of its workforce. Unsurprisingly, there has been an 'outraged' reaction by the trades unions. Strikes are planned. But just guess who they have recruited to lead the fight - Arthur Scargill!! He's already coming out with pearls of wisdom such as 'never negotiate', 'never surrender', 'glory in defeat' etc.. I fear for the public sector workforce of Ireland.

Another story dominating the headlines, and providing a headache for Brian Cowan demonstrates his current weakness. His Government wants to lower the legal level of alcohol allowed in the bloodstream of drivers. Despite widespread support from his cabinet, there seems doubt that he can carry his proposals. Most of the opponents are his own backbenchers. One of the main critics of the reduction in the limit, Mattie McGrath TD is arguing that a drink or two helps nervous drivers relax behind the wheel. I'm not making this up. Lots of other TDs are claiming that a change will lead to social isolation for what are termed the 'good old boys' who live in the countryside. So far the leader of the opposition and favorite to be the next Taoiseach, Edna Kenny has not been able to make up his mind. Not as if he was being asked something difficult - like to name his favorite biscuit.

Most interesting story for me today is news that former Taoiseach, John Bruton has started campaigning to become President of the European Council. Bruton is currently the EU's Ambassador to the US, and will be a real threat to the ambitions of Tony Blair, who is also widely reported to fancy the position. No doubt where my loyalties lie. Fianna Gael is the Irish party most comparable with the Conservatives, and No 3 son, Tim has married into a Fianna Gael family. So I'm backing Bruton.


MH said...

Fianna Gael. Are you entirely sure your son and daughter-in-law see eye to eye on political matters, Glyn?

But, on the other hand, this "News from Ireland" might be the political scoop of the decade.

MH said...

Come on, Glyn. You wouldn't want people to see that Huw Lewis has a better sense of humour than you. Why try to cover your tracks by changing the title?

Just think. It could have been much worse. I could have drawn attention to your other freudian slip and revealed Enda Mopbucket's true identity to the world.

Glyn Davies said...

MH - In Ireland, voters remain very faithful to their parties. I'm n hoping my brother-in-law might just come over and help me campaign. As for John Bruton, today's papers are playing his chances down - and Blair's as well. The Dutch Prime Minister seems to be the hot tip, with Bruton as outsider.

MH said...

Glyn, I really didn't think it would be necessary, but what I said seems to have gone over your head.

The two main parties in Ireland are Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Joining them together as "Fianna Gael" would be the biggest political news in Ireland since independence.

I intended only to pick you up on an amusing typo. End of. But even after I highlighted it, you didn't notice your mistake. That rather suggests you don't know much about politics in Ireland. That's fair enough, why should you be expected to?


But, on the other hand, why bother to comment on the suitablity of John Bruton if you had so little idea about the differences between the two main Irish parties? You could have just said "I don't want it to be Blair" without trying to make out that you had an informed opinion on something you clearly hadn't got the first clue about.


Finally, and more seriously, others reading your post as it now stands will probably be unaware that it (and not just the title) has been changed from what you had originally written. It's an attempt to cover your tracks; to retrospectively make out that you knew more about the political situation in Ireland than was evident from the original post I commented on. You then published my comments only after you had made the changes. That's cheap, Glyn. I thought you were better than that.

Tell Me it ain't So said...

Ireland is ahead of Wales on attracting business?

That Plaid has more in common with Irish sheep than Welsh job needs.

That Welsh Labour has a credible PPC running against you in Montgomeryshire?

Glyn Davies said...

MH - I don't claim to know that much about Irish politics, but I do know a bit. Must admit its odd but I've made that mistake before. I'm never ashamed of admitting my ignorance, and have not changed the post to reflect your helpful comment. Normally I would have corrected the spelling - some thing I will now have to leave until Tuesday, when I have time to blog again.

Tcoah said...

MH> get a life mate! I know at least one person who thought "Celtic Rangers" was one team and that person was not Glyn Davies!

Anonymous said...

Would'nt your time be better spent trying to win your seat,rather than poncing off on holiday every few weeks?

Chemist said...

Jealousy rears its ugly head at times like this.

The steps that an immature party will 'goto'. Just another cheap shot as their anti-Wales-let's play student politics ship goes down.

Glyn Davies lives in Montgomeryshire, he grew up in Montgomeryshire, and he farmed in Montgomeryshire.

Of the PPCs, Glyn Davies easily spends more time in Montgomeryshire than the Lib-Dem and Plaid PPCs put together.

Glyn Davies said...

Chemist - Thank you sir, or madam. I've taken a few days off over the last year, which is rather unusual for me. First holiday we took after marraige was our 10th anniversary! I need to visit Ireland sometimes. Weonly hav eone grandchild, and she lives in Cork. Anyway, holidays are over until after the General Election now.

MH - Just read your comment more carefully. Quite often, I post a blog very quickly, late at night. Next morning I sometimes check it and if dissatisfied with the wording (usually the grammer) I amend it. If its in response to a comment, I would always acknowledge it. Must admit that I do not recall whether I edited this post, or what I changed if I did - and it was nothing to do with the misspelling of Fine Gael.